Which team has the advantage in comparative position groups in Sunday’s Seahawks versus Broncos matchup? Here are my best guesses.
Winning on the road in the NFL is never easy. And the Seahawks under Pete Carroll are even worse in road openers. Under Carroll, Seattle is 1-7 in their first games on the road. The Broncos, on the other hand, are 51-8 since the merger when they play at home in the first two weeks of a season.
But this is a new year and both teams have new players at key positions. This game will be won, of course, on the field and not in the past. So, here is a breakdown of which position group has the advantage over the other on Sunday when Seattle plays Denver.
There is no doubt this may be where the Seahawks have the clearest advantage over Denver. Russell Wilson is a top-five quarterback in the NFL. Last year, Wilson led the league in touchdown passes and he currently has the second-highest passer rating in NFL history. Case Keenum of the Broncos had a very good season in 2017 but that was by far his best year as a pro.
Both teams have rookie running backs that they will count on to be very good in 2018, Rahaad Penny for Seattle and Royce Freeman for Denver. The difference for Seattle is they have Chris Carson and Carson is the starter. Seattle has more quality depth at the position. (Although, we all know this really comes down to whether Seattle can block the Broncos.)
This is another group where I have Seattle with an edge but only because of their depth. Denver’s starters – Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders – are probably a better duo than Doug Baldwin and Tyler Lockett. But with Brandon Marshall as Seattle’s number three, I think he puts Seattle over.
Neither line is very good, at least based on the past. Seattle could be better than they have been with Ethan Pocic being a year stronger and Germain Ifedi getting better coaching. But Ifedi has not been very good this preseason and J.R. Sweezy is a fill-in at right guard. Denver has the same issues on the right side of the line with performance below league average. But the left side of the Broncos line does appear more solid than Seattle’s with Garrett Bolles, Ronald Leary and Matt Paradis.